Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jerusalem Artichoke a.k.a. Sunchoke

On a quick trip to our farmer's market on Sunday morning to by our favorite organic brown rice, we stopped by the one and only organic veggie vendor at our market. Since it was late, late morning their few tables were mostly empty save for a few bins of potatoes and Jerusalem Artichokes. I have never eaten a Jerusalem Artichoke. Never even seen one. I'd seen the name before but that's about it. After learning from the vendor that they are super easy to cook and great in soups we grabbed some. After all, we were planning on making soup.

We don't regularly patronize the Sacramento farmer's market on Sundays partly because there are not many organic farms that come here. There are, on a good day, about 5 but most of them sell one specific item. Rice (and almonds and almond butter). Apples. Oranges. When I said earlier we have one organic veggie vendor, I'm referring to one who sells a variety of vegetables. I'm sure if I took the time to talk with some of the farmers I'd maybe learn that they use organic methods but just aren't certified. But it's usually so crowded (another reason we don't regularly go) that I feel like a pinball in a pinball machine as I bounce off of people walking through the dang place which leaves me feeling not too chatty. So, we only go when we are on a mission for something specific. Get in. Grab it. Get out. Ding, ding, ding. Wizard Bonus!

Our favorite brown rice is one of those mission items. It comes from Massa Organics which isn't too far from Chico, CA and from where some of our relatives live. I'm so thankful they make the nearly 2 hour trek to Sacramento when they do. I wasn't too fond of brown rice until I tried theirs and now I'm hooked. I don't know what it is that's different about theirs but it's damn good.

The Jerusalem Artichokes ended up being good also. They are easy breezy and delicious. Simply wash with a scrub brush (no need to peel) then chop and cook. To me they taste EXACTLY like the heart of a cooked, fresh artichoke. The best part! And without having to deal with all the artichoke leaves! So, if you haven't tried them before, buy some the next time you see them (or seek them out). C'mon, live a little.

~ Monica

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